Alex O. Sushkov, Igor Lovchinsky, N. Chisholm, R. L. Walsworth, Hongkun Park, & M. D. Lukin
We demonstrate a method of magnetic resonance imaging with single nuclear-spin sensitivity under ambient conditions. Our method employs isolated electronic-spin quantum bits (qubits) as magnetic resonance “reporters” on the surface of high purity diamond. These spin qubits are localized with nanometer-scale uncertainty, and their quantum state is coherently manipulated and measured optically via a proximal nitrogen-vacancy color center located a few nanometers below the diamond surface. This system is then used for sensing, coherent coupling, and imaging of individual proton spins on the diamond surface with angstrom resolution. Our approach may enable direct structural imaging of complex molecules that cannot be accessed from bulk studies. It realizes a new platform for probing novel materials, monitoring chemical reactions, and manipulation of complex systems on surfaces at a quantum level.